Word Travels Fast aka Monster Steelhead [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Word Travels Fast aka Monster Steelhead

03-16-2005, 10:53 PM
Todd R. posted this another site and I figured, since many of us fish the system this fish came out of, you would all like to see it.

Fish was caught in John Koening's boat of John's Guide Service. I hope John doesn't mind me passing this photo on....

42.5x25.5...a little over 35 pounds. Now someone catch this beauty with a fly. :devil:

Todd Ripley
03-17-2005, 12:39 AM
That would be from the Sauk River, lower drift, if you didn't recognize the shoulders on it!

Fish on...


03-17-2005, 01:32 PM
Yeah, I think that very fish grabbed my fly last Friday - when he was a shade brighter, and further downriver, too. But the size one hook was simply too, too small to gain meaningful purchase in its big, gaping, maw. Yeah, that's why I wasn't able to take, and post a photo of the beast.


Salmo g.

03-17-2005, 09:27 PM
It's a nice fish, but isn't it being handled illegally? It's completely out of the water.


03-17-2005, 09:35 PM
To quote the somewhat irrascible Karl Mauser:

"Ever since they went Catch and Release it seems everybody and his brother is catching 30 pound fish...."

It's a gorgeous fish but nevertheless, it would fit inside a 30 lb + fish.

03-18-2005, 03:28 PM

I wouldn't be so sure. I caught a 41.5 X 22 or 22.5 a few years ago, which I believe would have been a tight fit inside a 30# steelhead. This one is enough larger that I don't think it could fit.

Did Karl ever post the length and girth of his biggest Kispiox fish?

I agree that we don't have enough data points to be real confident in the weight prediction formula, but every example I've come across indicates that the extra girth really adds up with each extra inch of length with steelhead greater than 36 - 38 inches. Friends of mine have landed a 45" and almost 48" in years past, but no girth measurement, and we have no idea what those magnificent fish weighed. And it simply doesn't matter.


Salmo g.

03-18-2005, 07:05 PM
I believe Mauser's fish was 42 x 24. But girth is not the final word; it's how far that girth carries back past the anal fin into the peduncle and forward into the pectoral girdle. I once saw a Skeena fish that taped out at 38" but I know would have gone mid-twenties had it been weighed. Not only was it deeper then deep but the depth was constant from the tip of its jaw to its tail. It looked like the fish had been spawned in the effluent of a nuke plant.

I realize discussions about fish size are all a bit goofy (like Hemingway and his fellow hunting companions drooling single malt as they argued about whose kudu horns were larger) but for the sake of a priori scientific method, I felt some perspective might be in order.

The buck in the attached pic taped out at 42". I figured it as a "mid-to-upper twenty" fish, got a quick photo then sent him on his way. A girth measurement wouldn't have made me any more or less happier with the fish and wouldn't have chaged my approximation of weight to any signifcant degree.

I once had a 39 lb buck in my arms (it was absolutely chrome, seine-caught out of Rupert, weighed on a digital scale). Having something like that cutched to my chest has put all the other steelhead I have seen since that day into proper perspective, including that Sauk fish. Gorgeous fish, definite upper twenties, maybe 30 on a stretch, but not mid thirties.

03-18-2005, 07:41 PM
says that 42.5 x 25.5 should weigh 36.8 #.

03-19-2005, 08:54 AM
Perhaps. And the Census Bureau also tells us that there are 1.2 children in every American household.

Todd Ripley
03-19-2005, 04:35 PM
I'm sensing the interesting combination of "flyfishing elitism" and the color on the end of a Green Butt Skunk...not very complementary...or complimentary, for that matter.

It's a nice fish, caught in a local stream, and whoever caught it, on whatever they caught it on, shouldn't be reduced to quibbling over ounces...save it for quibbling over ounces of single malt around the campfire at night.

Fish on...


03-20-2005, 01:34 AM
I for one think its a great fish.

03-22-2005, 11:59 AM
People will do what they want, and making sense isn't high on everyone's list. All the men who are worried about the size of the lump in their pants really do seem to care too much about how many points on the deer or elk and how many pounds the steelhead weighs. Most trophy wild steelhead are caught from waters where they must be released these days. Weighing them on a certified scale isn't really an option. Length and girth are practical attributes of the fish's size that are reasonably obtained. I think that information tells us as much as anyone really needs to know about the size of the fish. Debating the unknowable seems about as constructive as the public's second guessing the right thing to do in the Terri Schiavo case currently in the news.


Salmo g.

03-23-2005, 10:08 AM
Salmo has hit this on the head. Unless youíre in the personís shoes, it really is hard to make the call. Iíve had several patients with peg tubes like Schiavo and with the same mental status. I have removed their tubes too. It is a very personal issue and it should remain so.

Iíve never caught a 35 pound fish and wouldnít dare to tell you what it was like or debate ounces. It was his experience and no matter how we try, we may never know what it was like. It must be glorious to have a brute like that bend your rod. Iíll bet I wouldn't be worried about ounces while I tried to get it to hand.